UDIA meets with Minister for Transport; Planning and Lands

The UDIA President and CEO met with Minister Saffioti this week to discuss a range of issues that are of importance to industry.  Key topics of discussion included: the current planning reform process and the critical need for streamlined policy and processes, as well as greater clarity and consistency; economic testing and finalisation of the Design WA Apartment Guidelines; prioritising development of a Medium Density Code; performance reporting on planning matters by local governments; Main Roads WA’s approval of road access; and implementation of the Perth and Peel @ 3.5m Frameworks.

The Minister advised that her office has received the draft report on planning reform and that the Green Paper is expected to be released for public consultation in the coming weeks. She also confirmed that development of a medium density code is a priority for government and that she and Hon. John Carey, MLA are working with Main Roads WA to review and resolve the issues currently being experienced in regard to road access.  With respect to the implementation plan for the recently adopted Perth and Peel @ 3.5million land use planning and infrastructure frameworks, UDIA will be holding an event in the near future where more information and discussion will be available.

APRA to remove cap on investor lending

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has announced today that it plans to remove the investor loan cap that was introduced in 2014 to counter higher risk lending practices.  APRA says that in removing the cap from July 1 2018, more permanent measures will be put in place to strengthen lending standards.

APRA has written to authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) today to advise that it is now prepared to remove the investor growth benchmark, where the board of an ADI is able to provide assurance on the strength of their lending standards.

In summary, for the 10 per cent benchmark to no longer apply, Boards will be expected to confirm that:

  • lending has been below the investor loan growth benchmark for at least the past 6 months;
  • lending policies meet APRA’s guidance on serviceability; and
  • lending practices will be strengthened where necessary.

For ADIs that do not provide the required commitments to APRA, the investor loan growth benchmark will continue to apply.

The benchmark on interest-only lending will continue to apply. The full letter sent to all ADIs can be found here.

UDIA State Budget submission

UDIA has made a submission to the state government on behalf of industry in the lead up to the release of the state budget on Thursday 10 May. Our key recommendations call for a comprehensive review of State based property taxes and the introduction of a more sustainable, broad based land tax system that distributes tax more equitably.  We have also strongly advised that it is critical to the continued recovery of the WA property market to maintain current land tax rates and thresholds; increase the threshold for Keystart loans by 25%; and cancel the proposed Foreign Owner Duty Surcharge. UDIA will be attending the budget lock up on the day and will provide our members with all the relevant information and key measures in relation to the property industry as soon as it is released.

Draft State Planning Policy 5.4: Road and Rail Noise

UDIA has met with representatives from the Department of Planning; Lands; and Heritage to discuss the Draft State Planning Policy 5.4: Road and Rail Noise. UDIA reiterated the comments and recommendations made in our submission, highlighting the impact of the proposed controls on housing affordability and the broad application of the policy. The Department stated that a large number of submissions regarding the draft had been received and it was currently addressing the issues raised with the intention of presenting a revised policy to the WAPC for its consideration in the coming months.  UDIA will provide members with any progress updates as they are made available.

Economic outlook for WA looks positive

WA’s economic recovery is gaining momentum according to the April 2018 WA Outlook by Deloitte Access Economics.

The report notes three driving factors in WA’s economic growth including stronger global growth (particularly in China); stabilising business investment; and employment growth.

December 2017 figures showed Gross State Product rose 1.1% for the quarter and the challenge, according to Delloite, will be ensuring growth filters across the WA economy.

The report also highlights that Perth’s property market is past the worst. However notes any sharp rise in interest rates may undermine that positivity. More here.

Perth’s population growth remains slow

According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Tuesday, in 2016-17 Perth’s population grew by 21,100 people (1.0 per cent). This is roughly one-third of the increase experienced when growth peaked in 2011-12. In that year, Perth’s population grew by 60,400 people (3.3 per cent).

Of all the capital cities, only Darwin (0.5 per cent) and Adelaide (0.7 per cent) had lower growth rates in 2016-17.

Drilling down to more specific areas, Ellenbrook in Perth’s north-east, had the state’s largest growth in 2016-17, increasing by 2,300 people, followed by Forrestdale – Harrisdale – Piara Waters (2,200 people) in the south-east, and the coastal area of Alkimos – Eglinton (2,100). Net internal migration was the main driver of population growth in these areas.

Alkimos – Eglinton was also the fastest-growing area (percentage wise) in Western Australia, increasing by 25 per cent in 2016-17. This was followed by the coastal area of North Coogee (16%) in Perth’s south-west, Forrestdale – Harrisdale – Piara Waters and Casuarina – Wandi, in the south-west (both 11%).

Looking at the picture nationally, Melbourne recorded the largest – and fastest growth – of Australia’s capital cities in 2016-17, increasing by 125,400 (2.7 per cent) to reach 4.9 million. Sydney’s population hit 5.1 million at June 2017, an increase of 101,600 people (2 per cent) since June 2016.

More information and all the figures available here.

Federal Government funding announcements

In the lead up to the release of the federal budget on 8 May 2018, the federal government has announced a $189 million funding package for three hospital upgrades in WA. Joondalup Health Campus has been allocated the majority of the funding due to being located in a fast growing region. Osborne Park Hospital, will get $10.6 million and Royal Perth Hospital will receive $4 million, with a further $16.3 million subject to a business case for more upgrades.

Member’s feedback welcomed

UDIA is seeking feedback from members to inform our submissions. Please forward any comments to policy@udiawa.com.au on the following:

  • Use of Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) for groundwater clean-up. Feedback to UDIA by Monday June 4. More information here.
  • Discussion paper – Controlled Waste Review. Feedback to UDIA by Monday June 4. More information here.
  • Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas. Feedback to UDIA by Mon May 7. More information here.
  • Draft position statement for Housing on Lots less than 100m2. Feedback to UDIA by Wed 9 May. More information here.

UDIA WA Free Member Briefing; Fraud Awareness Session, hosted by Macquarie Bank

UDIA WA is running a series of Member Briefings throughout the year. These short, sharp information sessions are designed to offer members the opportunity to hear from area experts from across industry, who will share their technical knowledge on a specific topic & answer questions relating to the presentation.

Macquarie Bank is holding a session on Fraud Awareness in August. See below for further details:

Reducing risk exposure to fraud across your business is a vital activity. We all have the responsibility to remain vigilant to the potential threats and likely exposure to fraud, faced by our business and our clients.

Recently, there has been a significant increase in attempts to de-fraud businesses using new and sophisticated methods, such as malware and client email compromises.

Jonathan Martin, Fraud Investigations Specialist Macquarie Banking Financial Services will be delivering an informative session that will update you on the current fraud trends that can affect your business (as well as your own personal life) and how best to mitigate the risks by following correct procedures and avoiding potential losses.

Date:                     Wednesday 1st August 2018

Time:                     12.00pm – 1.00pm

Location:              Ground Floor, 235 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA 6000

This session is free of charge for all UDIA WA members, but places are limited and RSVPs are essential by Friday 20th July.

Registration form can be downloaded here.

Confirm your place by emailing events@udiawa.com.au

Western Power and Horizon Power Board updates

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt has announced the extension of the tenure of Western Power board chairman Colin Beckett and deputy board chairman Greg Martin. Both appointments have been extended to April 28, 2021.

Stephen Edwell has been appointed as the new chairman of Horizon Power with Kylie Chamberlain joining as a non-executive director. Mr Edwell replaces Ian Mickel AM who has served as chairman since November 11, 2014.  Both appointments will commence on April 30, 2018.

Growth plan for Bunbury and Collie regions

Strategic opportunities to drive economic growth and job opportunities for Bunbury, Collie and surrounding areas are the focus of a new government steering committee facilitated by the South West Development Commission. The committee will oversee the creation of an economic development plan targeting the region, which the government says will help to drive future development by identifying new industry, employment, upskilling and training opportunities, as well as building community capacity.